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Two astronauts are taking a spacewalk outside the International Space Station today (March 24) and you can watch the 6.5-hour EVA live here in a webcast from NASA TV. The webcast begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), with the spacewalk beginning around 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).  Preview: Space Station Astronauts Poised to Tackle Three-Spacewalk Streak | You can watch the live video feed here, courtesy of NASA TV, 

From NASA: 

"Expedition 50 astronauts will conduct three spacewalks outside the International Space Station (ISS) in late March and early April to prepare for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft and upgrade station hardware."

The spacewalks currently are scheduled for March 24, March 30 and April 6, with NASA TV providing complete coverage beginning each day at 6:30 a.m., with the six-and-a-half hour spacewalks scheduled to begin about 8 a.m. EDT (1200 GMT).

"The first spacewalk will prepare the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) for installation of the second International Docking Adapter, which will accommodate commercial crew vehicle dockings. The PMA-3 provides the pressurized interface between the station modules and the docking adapter. Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will disconnect cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 to prepare for its robotic move Thursday, March 30. PMA-3 will be moved from the port side of the Tranquility module to the space-facing side of the Harmony module, where it will become home for the docking adapter, which will be delivered on a future flight of a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship. The spacewalkers also will install on the starboard zero truss a new computer relay box equipped with advanced software for the adapter.

"The two spacewalkers will lubricate the latching end effector on the Canadarm2 robotic arm, inspect a radiator valve suspected of a small ammonia leak and replace cameras on the Japanese segment of the outpost. Radiators are used to shed excess heat that builds up through normal space station operation.

"The second spacewalk will feature Kimbrough and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson of NASA reconnecting cables and electrical connections on PMA-3 at its new home on top Harmony. They also will install the second of the two upgraded computer relay boxes on the station’s truss and install shields and covers on PMA-3 and the now-vacant common berthing mechanism port on Tranquility.

"The final spacewalk will feature Whitson and Pesquet replacing an avionics box on the starboard truss called an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier, a storage platform. The box houses electrical and command and data routing equipment for the science experiments and replacement hardware stored outside of the station. The new avionics box is scheduled to launch aboard Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo craft this month.

"This will be the 198th, 199th and 200th spacewalks in support of space station assembly and maintenance. Kimbrough’s two spacewalks will be the fifth and sixth of his career. Whitson will be making the eighth and ninth spacewalks of her career – more than any other female astronaut. Pesquet will undertake the second and third spacewalks in his career."

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Scientists from around the world have come together in the Woodlands, Texas this week to present the latest planetary science research at the 48th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Presentations and discusssions started on Monday, March 20 and will continue through Friday, March 24. You can watch a live stream of the conference in the window below, courtesy of the Universities Space Research Association. The full program of speakers and events can be found here.

House Hearing on International Space Station Beyond 2024

Today, March 22, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing on the future of the International Space Station through 2024.You can see a replay of the hearing here:  

Here is the hearing's charter and witness list

On Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Space, will hold a hearing titled, "The International Space Station After 2024: Options and Impacts."

Hearing Purpose

It is the policy of the United States to support full and complete utilization of the International Space Station through at least 2024. What happens to the ISS after that date remains an open question. The hearing will examine the range of choices facing our nation and the impacts of those various options.

Witnesses

  • Mr. William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, NASA
  • Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, Executive Director, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration
  • Mr. Eric Stallmer, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
  • Dr. Robert Ferl, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research, University of Florida 

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